Review: Beyond the Barricades at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre by Lara Wadey 

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After an extremely long week, the last thing I I wanted to do on a Sunday night was to drag myself out to the theatre. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a massive musical fan although I must confess that I had never heard of Beyond the Barricades. For those of you who are as ignorant as me,  it’s a concert portrayal of the greatest songs in musical theatre, all performed live! So off I went with the attitude that they had better not mess this up, as these are the kind of songs that if not pulled off properly, would be a disaster in the making.

I’m not gonna lie, the opening number from Miss Saigon was a bitter disappointment as it didn’t grab my attention as I expected it would. Personally I would have opened up with something a little more powerful. However from the second song on-wards I was totally hooked. The show stars four very talented singers, Andy Reiss, David Fawcett, Katie Leeming and Poppy Tierney, all of whom have incredible CV’s; plus a band of three as part of the very simple set, including perfect lighting and a screen reflecting the musical of the moment.

During the first half I was blown away by Andy Reiss’s ‘Gethsemane (I Only Want to Say)’ from Jesus Christ Superstar.  It was simply stunning. I’ve actually just Googled the show only to be disappointed that it was playing until only a week ago at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.

The show was full of musical hit songs including ‘Masquerade’ (Phantom), ‘The Heat is on in Saigon’ (Miss Saigon), ‘Suddenly Seymour’ (Little Shop of Horrors) ‘The Quintet’ (West Side Story) and other songs from The Phantom of the Opera, The Jersey Boys, The Lion King, Blood Brothers and a spectacular finale from, of course, Les Misérables.

We were completely spoilt with the Les Misérables section and I was so into it that I didn’t want it to end. They even managed to perform ‘One Day More’ and pulled it off exquisitely.

Every now and again we all have those moments in life where everything else is forgotten including all the chaos going on around you and you are literally living and breathing in the moment – and for me that’s what this show does. It brought back all the memories and moments from when I originally saw the shows. It brought back memories of my childhood as I grew up with these songs. I absolutely loved every moment, to the point that I have the music playing in the background as I write this review.

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one that was blown away with the incredible vocals this evening. We really could have been sitting in the West End. It goes without saying that the standing ovation it received was incredibly well deserved

If you get the opportunity to see Beyond the Barricades, I urge you to buy tickets. Even if musicals are not your thing, maybe watching this will encourage you to venture out to the West End to try something new.

If you’re a lover of musicals then this show is for you. Find out more about the Beyond the Barricade UK tour here http://www.beyondthebarricade.com/tour

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